The Water Community

IHE Delft signed a partnership agreement with UNESCO for the transition period from 2017 to mid-2018 when a decision on its category 2 status is expected. As of 1st January 2017, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education (formerly UNESCO-IHE) operates as a Foundation under Dutch law, working in in partnership with UNESCO. IHE Delft cooperates with a wide range of partners in the water sector, both in the Netherlands and overseas. 

UNESCO, UN & water

IHE Delft operates in a variety of policy contexts. As part of the UNESCO Water Family, there is the international context, the Sustainable Development Goals. Moreover, IHE Delft is based in the Netherlands and therefore also operates and works in the context of European and Dutch policies.

 In the future, as before, IHE Delft is an important contributor to UNESCO’s water agenda. UNESCO is committed to implementing the international water agenda, consisting primarily of promoting integrated water resources management, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda

UNESCO’s work in the water sector is built on the following pillars:

At its heart is the long-standing International Hydrological Programme (IHP) , now carried out in collaboration with academic and professional institutions, the IHP National Committees, and the governments of UNESCO’s member states.

UNESCO Water-related Chairs are joint undertakings between UNESCO and interested parties. They can be established as teaching or research facilities at a university or other higher education or research institute.

The IHE Delft Institute for Water Education , as well as some 25 associated regional and international centres around the world.

The World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) is a joint initiative of 24 bodies of the United Nations system. The UN WWAP, hosted by UNESCO, issued the first World Water Development Report in 2003 and the latest in 2015: Water for a Sustainable World.

Water-related centres under the auspices of UNESCO
The water-related centres under the auspices of UNESCO (category 2) work on relevant thematic and geographic priorities in their areas of expertise. Since Member States have realized the potential of these centres, the network has been rapidly expanding and will include IHE Delft Institute for Water Education.

Hydrology National Committees
National Committees form the backbone of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and are fundamental to ensuring the widest possible participation of Member States in the international programme.  These Committees are constituted and run under the authority of national governments and play a critical role in the implementation of the IHP.There are at present 168 IHP National Committees and focal points among UNESCO’s 195 Member States.

UNESCO Publishing

Find books, publications, periodicals and multimedia in the six official UNESCO languages here:


IHE Delft has signed a number of long-term international cooperation agreements with various partners, comprising a wide range of fields and technical cooperation in human and institutional capacity building. Find out more on the partner page, visit the networks & partnerships page or see the sub websites list.

Delft & water

Delft is a world renowned knowledge centre on water infrastructure, technology and sciences, and attracts high-level students and scientists from around the globe. IHE Delft cooperates with Delft, the water knowledge city, and water related institutes based in Delft.